Budget and taste friendly salmon

Canned salmon opens up a world of possibilities

I have written before about how canned meat gets a bad reputation. Other than tuna salad sandwiches, deviled ham sandwiches and tuna noodle casserole many don’t understand the convenience and versatility that canned meats (chicken, salmon, tuna, beef) can give them. This time around we are breaking out the canned salmon at my house. The awesome thing about canned meats is that they require little to no cooking so are perfect for spring and summer as our kitchens are heating up. They are also good for food budgets since they are shelf stable and with seafood prices, especially in Wyoming, they provide a good alternative to the cheapest fresh meats.

My husband does not do fish, at all, so these are also a good way for me to get some fish into my diet without making the whole house smell like I just cooked…fish. SNAP and WIC recipients can also get canned salmon with their benefits so these are great recipes if you are on one of those programs and looking for ways to work your benefit foods into your diet.

Salmon meatballs with avocado sauce (crema)

These are a great alternative to heavier meatballs. You can use them for a main dish or appetizer. Pair them with cilantro rice and black beans for a yummy dinner option.


2 cans wild caught salmon drained

1/4 c. Panko breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp. chili powder

2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Avocado Sauce (Crema)

1 avocado

Juice of 2 limes

1/4 c. sour cream (or yogurt)

1/4 c. basil

2 tbsp. parsley

Preheat oven to 350º. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.

Make salmon meatballs: In the bowl of a food processor, add salmon. Process until finely chopped, then transfer to a large bowl. Add Panko, chili powder, parsley, garlic, and egg and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then form into tablespoon-sized meatballs. Place onto baking sheet.

Bake until meatballs are slightly golden and cooked through, 15-17 minutes.

Meanwhile, make avocado crema: In a food processor, add avocado, lime juice, yogurt, basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, then process until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with water. Serve meatballs drizzled with avocado crema and garnish with more parsley.

Salmon Kale Pasta

Any time you can fill in a dish with pasta it helps stretch your budget. This is a great twist on pasta salad that is packed with super healthy kale and salmon.

8 oz bowtie pasta

6 oz chopped kale

14 oz can wild caught salmon

2 large hard boiled eggs (optional)

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

1/2 cup (or to taste) creamy Caesar dressing

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bowtie pasta according to the package directions, then drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, roughly chop the kale into small pieces, removing any large pieces of stem. Place the chopped kale in a bowl. Once the pasta is drained, add it to the kale and stir to let the residual heat slightly wilt the kale.

Drain the canned salmon and remove the skin and bones (if included), breaking the meat into bite-sized chunks as you go. Peel and dice the hard boiled eggs.

Add the salmon chunks, diced hard boiled eggs, and shredded Parmesan to the kale and pasta. Drizzle with Caesar dressing, then toss to coat everything in the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste. Divide into four portions for meal-sized salads, or six smaller side-salad servings.

Easy salmon crostini

Appetizers can get expensive fast when you are entertaining. To keep the costs down try these salmon crostini. Essentially toppings on toasted baguette. If you can’t get a baguette you can use thick white bread or sourdough but we prefer a baguette if possible. With garden season just around the corner these are best prepared with fresh herbs. If you can’t find fresh basil or dill then you can skip but they are much better with the fresh herb flavors.

Mashed Salmon, Avocado & Balsamic

1 avocado

1/2 can canned pink salmon

1/2 lemon, juiced

Approx. 2 Tbsp basil, rolled and sliced to top

Approx. 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (to drizzle overtop)

Salmon, Cream Cheese, Cucumber & Dill

Approx. 50 g or 2 oz. plain cream cheese

1/3 English cucumber, sliced thinly

1/2 can canned pink salmon

Approx. 2 Tbsp fresh dill (to top)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Slice baguette into ~1/2-inch thick pieces. Brush both sides with olive oil and spread on a large baking sheet. Bake for a total of 10 minutes, flipping halfway (5 mins each side) until slightly toasted. Remove and let cool.

Next, make the mashed avocado spread by adding the canned salmon, avocado, and lemon to a bowl and mashing with a fork until well combined. Salt to taste.

Thinly slice the cucumber, using a mandolin if you have one. Chiffonade the basil, and prepare the dill sprigs.

Mix salmon and cream cheese together.

You will have approximately 8 of each flavor.

Spoon some of the avocado mash over 8 pieces of bread, then add basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar over top.

Spread remaining bread pieces with cream cheese mix, top with 3 cucumber slices on each piece and top with a sprig of fresh dill. Crack black pepper over top of all crostini, and then serve immediately.